I love Bryan Cranston.
Not only is he a great actor, he’s just a fine man. Intelligent, thoughtful, and extraordinarily talented. I’ve been hanging back during the news cycle, watching to see what happens to Harvey Weinstein. Watching what happens to Corey Feldman. Is this the time? Is this the moment? Will people take this seriously now?
Overcoming sexual abuse, and moving on with life … those are topics near to my heart. I still don’t know what to say or how to say it. Maybe one day. In the meantime, I have my own limitations to deal with and those are challenging enough.
But skip all that. Let’s focus on something positive. We’re starting to see people wrap their minds around how to handle this. How did we get here? How do we get back to normal? Those questions are being wrestled with and I’m happy to see some reasonable answers.
If you’re unable to understand how guys like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey came to be, read this amazing essay by Mara ‘The Girl from Mathilda’ Wilson. if you’re unable to figure how how we move on from here, read Cranston’s comments in this AV Club Article. Both pieces address the major problems in front of us as a society, and also as a community.
She dissects what is wrong with Hollywood and the sexualization of young actors. Then she reminds us that it’s a problem with society, not just Hollywood.
My position, as someone who grew up in and near Hollywood, has always been that it isn’t necessarily immoral, but amoral. When actors are dehumanized, objectified, seen as bankable resources rather than people, this makes for an extreme imbalance of power. And no one loves an imbalance of power more than a predator.
Predators can fetishize their innocence and youth without any guilt, because they believe that once a child becomes a public figure, they forfeit their rights to be protected the way a child should.
My personal journey includes sexual abuse and I applaud her for being much more brave than I am to discuss it openly. But then, what do we do about it? How do we move on? I’m not sure how they got onto the topic, but Bryan Cranston has some ideas:
If they were to show us that they put the work in and were truly sorry and making amends and not defending their actions but asking for forgiveness then maybe down the road there is room for that. Maybe so. Then it would be up to us to determine, case by case, whether or not this person deserves a second chance. And I think in the face of it, we should let that open. We shouldn’t close it off and say, ‘To hell with him, rot, and go away from us for the rest of your life.’ Let’s not do that. Let’s be bigger than that. Let’s leave it open for the few who can make it through that gauntlet of trouble and who have reclaimed their life and their dignity and their respect for others. Maybe it’s possible.
I love this. Up until now, nobody has explained what we do with the information. How do we move on? How do we heal? No one has explained this before, at least not in a way I could understand. At least, not until now.
I read with relish and I’m grateful for this new understanding. Well done, Ms. Wilson and Mr. Cranston. You’ve done us all proud.